Telephone

I’m taking part in a really lovely project created during this last pandemic year. Telephone has been a way of making connections artistically during a gruelling year of isolation and disconnection. Its been a huge priviledge to be part of it and so gratifying to see it come to fruition. Thank you Nathan Langston and team for bringing it all together. I hope you enjoy looking at the work on the Telephone website.

‘TELEPHONE is just like the kids’ game. A message is whispered from one person to another and changes as it is passed.

We whisper a message from art form to art form.

A message could become a painting, then music, then poetry, then dance.

We whisper each finished work of art to multiple artists so the game branches out exponentially.

Halfway through the game, we reverse the process. We start assigning multiple artworks to a single artist.

We ask each artist to find what the works have in common and to create a translation of that into their own art form.

So — TELEPHONE begins with one message, passes that message through more than 900 artists from 72 countries

and then concludes with a single artwork.’

I received two beautiful artworks by visual artist Pawel Pacholec and Choreographer Manuel Vignoulle from which i had to make my own response. I made a short film on my iphone as we were in lockdown and i couldn’t easily get to my studio and later the ink drawing of waves breaking on rocks.

My response to these two artists can be seen on the Telephone website along with the work of poet and teacher Julia Lisella who in turn responded to my short film along with another. And so the game goes on!

Here’s Julia’s poem:

Dioramas

In grade school, when they wanted to teach us
something about the weather or history,
geography or a natural disaster
we made dioramas:
            stole shoe boxes from our mothers’ closets
emptied out the tissue paper
and set to work.
The erupted volcano
or the explorer at the helm of a large ship,
or an ancient family around a fire–
we could only transform an image of an image
with crayons, thread, glue,
thimbles, twigs, plucked grass from the side yard,
stones and sand we found in the garage
from last summer’s trip to the ocean,
dead things.
            Scale so inaccurate
that if blown up to life-size proportions
boulders we made of foil
might crinkle under the weight of
clinging sea shells.
            The cleverer among us
might capture the sounds of landscapes
with hidden cassette players
or a bell hung strategically
from the ceiling of the box,
but these were risky efforts;
silent worlds were more resilient.
            We would carry these boxes
as though we could protect
their shores, their tiny monuments
as we jostled for our seats—
whose big boot might crush a continent
in the coat closet?
            Our minds were mixed like rainwater
against a windowpane,
unfocused but eager, the shapes of the worlds we made
waiting for our explanations.

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